Friday, September 26, 2014

Early fall fly fishing on Oatka

Mid-September on Oatka

Before all the lake run salmon and trout really get going, I decided to get out one last time to my favorite trout stream – Oatka Creek.

Early fall fishing on Oatka can be amazing. Not only is there some fall color starting to show itself, but I often have the stream and the trout all to myself, and some pretty nice trout at that!

One of the best ways to put fish in the net during this time is dead drifting small midge patterns, especially in low clear water like I had on that afternoon.

I started with a #16 PT nymph pattern, and when that didn’t produce I switched it up and tied on a #18 red worm pattern as my point fly with a smaller #20 zebra midge as the dropper.

A two fly rig can sometimes be a bit of a hassle, but the payoff can be more than worth it. And fishing this rig can often be the big difference maker for the day.
Smallest of the day. Caught on #20 zebra midge.

Several casts later I was into my first Oatka brown of the day. Not a big fish mind you, but at least I was on the board. Every fish from then on was a bonus, and I didn’t stop working the pool until I was joined by my friend Curtis. He took over and quickly landed his first fish – A gorgeous fifteen inch wild Oatka brown.

I only landed one more fish before I had to leave, but by then Curtis was well on his way to taking control of the situation, and later verified it by a few photos.

Oatka gold
I may not get back to Oatka for a while, but after a great afternoon of fishing like the one I had, it should make the wait bearable. 

We don’t always get the opportunity to get out and fish when we want, and when we do, the fishing isn’t always great. So as always, I make the most out of every chance I get and am thankful for it.
Another golden brownie caught on the #18 red worm pattern

#18 red worm strikes again

A beautiful brown landed with the help of my JP Ross 4 weight and a #20 zebra midge

Curtis with his nice 15" brown

A #18 red worm pattern was the fly of the afternoon

See you on the stream.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fly fishing with the boys!

Ethan holds a nice Black creek pike.

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to take the boys out for a little fly fishing at one of our favorite WNY warm water fisheries.

Black creek is one of those spots that never really disappoints. Sure, there are those days when the fishing is a little on the slow side, or maybe you don’t quit get that “big” fish you were looking for. But when a slow day is catching 20-30 bluegill, small bass, and crappie and that big fish happens to be a 14” inch smallmouth bass instead of that 19” inch bronze back you were hoping for….well….it really isn’t that bad!

Ethan and his sucker
On this trip however the fishing was just fine, and having the company of my two boys was even better.

We started our little adventure right near the spillway and eventually worked our way downstream before heading back up for a few last minute casts before the trip back home.

The fast water right near the spillway proved to be very productive as my youngest son Ethan hooked several nice bluegill and I, a nice pike, which my son very enthusiastically fought and landed for me. My oldest (Jonathan) worked a section just below us and eventually hooked a few fish for himself. 

We then made our way downstream and fished a section of the creek that resembled more of a trout stream. Here we picked up plenty of small largemouth and smallmouth along with some rock bass.
Jonathan with his sucker
Ethan then took a break and walked around for a bit, eventually wading down to a slower section of the creek, just below where Jonathan and I were fishing. It didn’t take long for him to spot some very large suckers and carp working the head of a long pool.

For the next thirty to forty minutes the boys and I had lots of fun trying to get some interest from the fish. And in the end persistence paid off and both boys were able to play a few and even land a fish for each of them.

Ethan's smallmouth bass
Our afternoon ended with a few “last casts” back up in the slower section, a good 90 feet or so below the dam. Ethan and I picked up a nice largemouth and then a few casts later a rather large carp intercepted our olive bugger and Ethan grabbed the 5 weight and tried as hard as he could to turn the fish. Within the next few minutes the carp tore off all of the fly line, took a right turn up at the spillway, and proceeded to break the leader off on a rock.

The largemouth before the carp!
Ethan could only stand there in awe of the power of his first carp battle on the fly rod. And even though he lost that round, he has since vowed to get back there and land one all by himself. And when we get that chance, I’m sure he will.

All in all another great fly fishing adventure with the boys!